Saturday, 24 May 2014

The All Star

For years now my family have been wearing Converse trainers. They were a complete staple in my Dad's youth as he was a basketball player and that's what he wore. For many years I didn't really appreciate them. I remember my brothers having pairs of camouflage Chuck Taylor high tops in their early teens and then we all ended up with multiple pairs as life went on. My Dad once had to go to Japan for work and he literally came back with a suitcase full of patterns and styles that weren't even in this country yet. I suppose as they were very much a part of our Dad's younger days we have always had some infatuation with them.
As a wedding gift for my Father, Rob and I bought him a pair to mark how he has always looked after us, and gone without to support his family.
One Christmas we bought our entire family a pair each, which was amazing.
Now Rob pretty much lives in a range of colours, I have 4 pairs, Raph has had many already and Etta has a pink pair hanging on the end of her cot ready for use as soon as she fits them. So we like them as you can see.
I thought for this post though that I would delve into a bit of the history and I have to say, it's a nice read.
 So in 1908 Marquis Mills Converse opened a rubber sole shoe shop in Massachusetts. A few years later they created the classic Converse Basketball shoe that we know and love today. Then in 1921 a basketball player named Charles H. "Chuck" Taylor walked into Converse complaining of sore feet. Converse gave him a job as a salesman and sent him off around America with their products. In 1932 he became an ambassador for Converse and they decided to add Chuck Taylor's signature to the all star patch on the classic high tops as a sign of all the hard work he had done.
In 1940s war time they stopped production of shoes and made military outerwear. As did lots of companies at the time. People weren't buying shoes as there wasn't the money and to keep in business Converse had to change. 
Going In to the 50s and 60s, Converse promoted their distinct image of the American high school and college athlete. This is the more iconic image of converse, Grease the movie had them as a staple for the characters! 
It was then and into the 70s that converse became an iconic brand and was seen as the essential sports shoe.
Post 1970 however Converse came up against new brands like Puma, Adidas, Nike and Reebok. They stopped being the NBA's official shoe and became quite quiet in the industry.
During this time an employee, Jim Labadini created the chevron and star logo that still remains on a lot of their shoes.
Unfortunately the poor choices made and the lack of a major advert in the NBA, Converse claimed bankruptcy in 2001. In 2003 Nike paid $309 million to acquire the company and with that took the company to a new level of popularity.
Converse is now one of the most fashionable footwear brands. They are probably found in most homes in this country and America and are so popular I bet you couldn't walk down your local high street without seeing someone in a pair.
However, even though most fashionable things loose their charm and popularity, it seems Converse are definitely here to stay and we, and many others, will not be putting them in a cupboard for the grandkids to dress up in just yet.

Post by Emily

(Information found on Wiki)

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